Archive for December, 2016

Dec 31

Lord, How Can We Know The Way?

(J.R. Miller, “Evening Thoughts” 1907)

Thomas said to Him, Lord, how can we know the way? Jesus said to him, “I am the way” John 14:5-6

This is the first day of a new year. We are setting out on a journey of which we can have no knowledge in advance. The road is one on which we never have gone hitherto. We know not what any day will have for us . . .
what our duties will be,
what burdens shall be laid upon us,
what sorrows we shall have to endure,
what battles we shall have to fight.

We cannot see one step before us! How can we know the way?

As we sit in the quiet, this first evening, and ask the question, we hear an answer which is full of comfort. Jesus says to us, “I am the way!”

All we shall have to do, therefore, will be to follow Jesus. He has made a way through this dark world for us. He has gone over all the journey and opened a road for us at great cost. He went over the way Himself–we shall find His shoe-prints at every step.

He has a definite way for each one of us. Every mile of the journey He has chosen and every place where I pitch my tent He has selected for me!

“Leaving you an example, so that you should follow in His steps!” 1 Peter 2:21


posted by FBC Elder
Dec 15


A poem by Charles Spurgeon


When once I mourned a load of sin,
When conscience felt a wound within,
When all my works were thrown away,
When on my knees I knelt to pray,
Then, blissful hour, remembered well,
I learned Thy love, Immanuel!

When storms of sorrow toss my soul,
When waves of care around me roll,
When comforts sink, when joys shall flee,
When hopeless griefs shall gape for me,
One word the tempest’s rage shall quell,
That word, Thy name, Immanuel!

When for the truth I suffer shame,
When foes pour scandal on my name,
When cruel taunts and jeers abound,
When “Bulls of Bashan” gird me round,
Secure within Thy tower I’ll dwell,
That tower, Thy grace, Immanuel!

When hell, enraged, lifts up her roar,
When Satan stops my path before,
When fiends rejoice and wait my end,
When legion’d hosts their arrows send,
Fear not, my soul, but hurl at hell
Thy battle-cry, Immanuel!

When down the hill of life I go,
When o’er my feet death’s waters flow,
When in the deep’ning flood I sink,
When friends stand weeping on the brink,
I’ll mingle with my last farewell,
Thy lovely name, Immanuel!

When tears are banished from mine eye,
When fairer worlds than these are nigh,
When Heaven shall fill my ravish’d sight,
When I shall bathe in sweet delight,
One joy all joys shall far excel,
To see Thy face, Immanuel!

What a wonderful testimony of the Christian’s life and hope!

An Advent Meditation

posted by FBC Elder
Dec 1

Longing For Home: An Advent Meditation;

by Tim Harmon

The holiday season (which is well under way) seems to carry with it a sense of longing for something we call “home.” In the words of that ubiquitous holiday anthem popularized by Perry Como:

Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays Cause no matter how far away you roam If you want to be happy in a million ways For the holidays, you can’t beat home, sweet home

Now, being home, of course, is about something more than just being in a particular place. No, more than that, it’s about being with particular people.

This is illustrated perhaps no better than in that modern cinematic classic, where we find that being home for the holidays isn’t very happy at all, if one is Home Alone (even if it does afford one the opportunity to ward off robbers by building booby traps).

Out of a desire to be home for the holidays, over 90 million people travel to visit friends and family between Christmas and New Years. People are willing to endure long lines, and bad traffic, and flight delays all for the sake of being ‘home’. And it’s worth it, I think – especially when we consider that the opportunities we have to gather with our loved ones is finite.

One of my strongest holiday memories is of traveling each year to my grandmother’s house, to gather with my aunts, uncles, and cousins. My grandmother lived in a small, old-fashioned, rural home, set on a large plot of land.

A wood stove heated the house, and a blast of hot air would hit my face whenever I would walk through the front door. Inside, the wood floors were squeaky and the walls were covered with stoic photos of distant relatives who had passed away long before I was even born.

I’m glad that I spent the time that I did there at my grandmother’s house over holidays past, because my grandmother is no longer alive, and her property has long since been sold. That “home” does not exist anymore – neither the structure, nor many of the people who filled it.

When I think of this, I feel a small pang in my heart. It’s an ache that all of us know. It is a longing to be home . . . not just for a little while . . . but forever.

It is precisely this ache that is addressed in the true story that the Bible tells. The opening pages of this book describe an earthly home that is perfect in every way. It is a place of un-interrupted peace, love, and joy. It is a space where human relationships flourish, as they remain in fellowship with and under the wise care of the Creator.

But early on in this story, something tragic happens.

Humans reject the good order of the Creator, in effect choosing emancipation from the Heavenly Father’s household. As a result, these first humans were required to leave this glorious home. Ever since, all humans have been born estranged from God, and alienated from the one place that would ever truly feel like home.

And so, though we are each unique in many ways, at the core we are all the same. Our deepest longing – indeed our deepest need – is to find our way back home. But on our own, all of our efforts have fallen flat. There is simply no way, on our own, to get back what has been lost.

Today, we are still waiting for the day when Jesus comes again, to bring God’s people home forever.

And that’s precisely why this holiday season – the season that celebrates the advent of the Christ child – is so special. For, according to the Scriptures, the coming of Jesus was the coming of the Creator. And He came for this reason: to do what we, on our own, could not do.

He came to bring God’s people home.

In Jesus, God took on humanity, embarking on a mission to a far country. Because we could not find Him, He came and found us, and He made His home with us.

This involved a humbling of the highest order. It would be like the Queen of England giving up Buckingham Palace and entering the company of homeless street dwellers. And yet even this does not capture the degree of God’s condescension, as He came to live as and among us. For God not only took on humanity, but at the cross He also took upon Himself the just penalty for the rebellion of those He had come to bring home.

Regarding this home, before Jesus went to the cross, he spoke these words to his disciples: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (Jn. 14:3). And a bit later, after being questioned about the way to where Jesus was going, Jesus said the following: “I am the way” (Jn. 14:6).

There is one way home, and Jesus Christ is that way.

Today, we are still waiting for the day when Jesus comes again, to bring God’s people home forever. That’s why we, as Christians, celebrate Advent – a term that literally means, “coming.” As we look back to Jesus’ first coming, we also look forward to that day when he will come again.

On that day when Jesus returns, it will be a home-coming of epic proportions – for it will be a day when those who have turned from their rebellion, and have placed their trust in Jesus, will be home not just for the holidays, but home forevermore.

And so, this holiday season, whatever gladness is experienced as we enjoy the people and places that we identify with “home,” let us remember that these serve as but a small approximation of the infinite goodness of that coming day when the innermost yearnings of the human heart are met, when God’s people are called home, once and for all.